Joy Thompson installed as vice president in statewide Women’s Bar Association
The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association (BWBA) has had three presidents of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY), and it is likely on its way to its fourth as Joy A. Thompson was installed as a vice president during the state convention in Cooperstown earlier this month.
Thompson, who is a director of BWBA, serves as the Deputy Commissioner of the Public Administrator for New York County, a city agency that administers the estates of Manhattan residents who die without a will and without any heirs.
She joined BWBA in 2009 at the urging of then-President Hon. Joanne Quinones. Thompson said that she only became involved with the statewide bar association because membership in BWBA automatically enrolled her as a member of WBASNY.
She started attending conferences and joined a couple of committees. When Andrea Composto, a member of BWBA, became president of WBASNY, Thompson joined the convention committee and became even more involved at the state level.
‘That gave me an opportunity to work with women across the state to work on a project,” Thompson said. “This is how I got to know more people on the statewide level and they got a chance to know me.”
Eventually, Thompson was approached to apply to be a WBASNY officer. It took her a year to decide, but eventually she ran to be the corresponding secretary and got the position. A year later, she was being installed as vice president.
“It’s a big commitment and a lot of hours to volunteer,” Thompson said. “But I have to say, and this is the truth — these women are quite inspiring. The depth of talent and experience, they’re pioneers — they’re women who practice law and are at the top of their field. To hear their stories, to see their passion, it makes it worthwhile for me.”
She explained that part of her commitment to both BWBA and WBASNY stems from her passion to raise issues that often go overlooked.
“If you look at the history of what WBASNY has been able to accomplish, it is a champion for issues are overlooked,” she said. “Sometimes laws are passed that affect women disproportionately, negatively or differently. We can affect laws and the administration of justice of issues that are not always on the radar of the traditional people in leadership positions.”
Being a vice president does not guarantee that Thompson will eventually become president of WBASNY, but it does put her name on a short list. This is fine by her because she is more than happy working in the background.
“I love working behind the scenes,” Thompson said. “The prospect of serving as president is daunting and a lot of work. I’m just beginning to add the mileage crossing the state and trying to meet people.”
“That said, it’s my second year being an officer and I love learning more about the organization, participating and doing whatever I can to help. If there is a need for me to become president then we’ll cross that road when we get to it.”
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